The old Japanese proverb “sake wa hyakuyaku no chou” translates – as you well know – as “sake is the best medicine“.
So if you’re poorly but fancy being cured neither by laughter nor medicine – or if you just fancy heading out for dinner – then now is very much the time to pop along to Sakagura on Heddon Street.
The name means “sake cellar”, and it’s appropriately run in part by a sake seller (Gekkeikan, who have a royal warrant for sake), as well as The Araki (one of the city’s finest sushi restaurants). Not such a bad start.
The space itself is a two storey, classically Japanese outfit; all black & bare wood, with intimate ground floor dining booths overlooked by a trellised wooden ceiling and a dedicated sake bar, while below in the sake cellar you can sit around the 11-seater counter to watch the chefs at work.
Don’t think you’re getting the night off, just because you’re out for dinner. Dining at Sakagura is very much an interactive experience, where you can order steaks to cook just how you like them on your own personal hot lava stone; roll your own temaki; or order meat, fish and veg to scorch on your own sumibi tabletop BBQ. The chefs aren’t putting their feet up for the night, though – there’s also fresh sushi and sashimi, robata-grilled dishes and snacks like chicken karaage sailing out the kitchen.
They have sakes from every part of Japan; hot, cold, still, sparkling, pasteurized, raw, aged, everything. You can even order a barrel of the stuff to your table, to whack it open for good luck (and then drink it). That’s alongside the dozens of Japanese whiskies, shochu, craft beers, teas, and cocktails like the Nihon Sling (with gin, elderflower and sake), or the Red Lantern, with yuzu umeshu, Campari, cherry brandy and ginger ale.
A spoonful of which should definitely help the medicine go down.
NOTE: Sakagura is open daily, 12-10.30pm (11.30pm Fri & Sat, 10pm Sun). You can make reservations by either emailing them on firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply clicking right HERE.
Sakagura | 8 Heddon Street, W1B 4BS
Like sake? Then you’ll be a big fan of Moto…